The life of a Christian is a journey, not a destination. A follower of Jesus wants to grow in our faith, all the while making mistakes and often struggling to understand where we are in the journey.
The journey is a struggle. Many things in life compete for our attention. We have to ask ourselves how far are we willing to go to grow. Often the growth path for many believers is full of plateaus. A plateau for much of our culture is attending church on the important holidays or various Sundays. That is as far as they are willing to walk down the path of faith – church attendance on major holidays!
But isn’t the struggle of the journey part of the journey? While living in a world so influenced by sin, we struggle to find peace and joy sometimes. Then we arrive at a place where we find rest and comfort and we stay there a while.
For me, I have found these stopping off points in the middle of some of the weirdest situations. Early in our marriage (Stacy and I had been married maybe 3 or 4 years), it was our third or fourth small group. Our group simply existed together. We grew in our faith, our families grew, and we had a great time together.
For that brief period of time, we (everyone in the group) trusted and relied on each other. But there came a time when we were ready to move on further in our journey. Some of used moved away, some went to another church, and some of us moved on to other things. It was difficult to see things change but they had to change. None of us wanted to see our stopover, this wonderful, beautiful time that we had had, become a plateau.
The Big Plateau
For many believers, the big plateau is to be a part of a church, frequently attending, having Christian friends, taking part in an ‘outreach’ project or two, and listening to Christian radio. All great things that lend themselves to a level of faith but not a destination! And all of them focused on church attendance and conformity to “Christian Activities.” These things are not bad, but we don’t want them to be the extent of our Christian life because there is so much more to experience.
A considerable part of the Christian Journey is what is often called “resting in the Lord.” Kinda churchy words I know but it means to just stop, be happy where we are, and stop moving forward for a bit. Resting at night is a great analogy. When we go to bed, we shouldn’t do so while walking on a treadmill. We stop, put on comfortable clothes, and rest. Sometimes our faith journey needs to be that way. Rest, comfort, quiet and relaxation.
I’m asking myself more and more where am I plateaued and where does God desire my faith to be. I think it has less to do with church attendance and more to do with knowing and reaching towards our Heavenly Father.
I also think that we need to remember:
- Everyone is at a different place in the journey and should be allowed to grow without guilt.
- Every step we take isn’t about following other’s lead but is about following Christ’s example in our life.
- Everyone reaches the next step based on different motivations.
- There are definite next steps for everyone.
We have to ask ourselves if we are reaching for him like a child reaches for their father or are we plateaued and not longing to know our Heavenly Father more?
Sometime we may have to get a little “weird” to stretch to the next step in our journey. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to journey on.
Faith is a journey, not a destination.
- Reach up and take a chance on your journey – try fasting for a few days, try spending a Saturday in one beautiful spot studying God’s Word.
- Take $50 and send it to someone that you know needs it, find someone to meet with once a week to talk about their life and to pray, or maybe when you drive to work each day next week talk to God – out loud – as if he is right there beside you in the car.
- Take a look at this post from September 25 – In-Process vs. In-Progress